Sammi Kane Kraft, who was cast in the 2005 remake of “The Bad News Bears” in the role made famous by Tatum O’Neal, died early Tuesday (Oct. 9) in a car accident in Los Angeles at the age of 20. She is pictured above on set in 2005 with MLB star Carlos Beltran.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Kraft was a passenger in an Audi that was in the westbound lane of the 10 Freeway that rear-ended a big rig and then was struck by another car around 1:30 a.m. local time, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The driver of the car, 21-year-old Molly Kate Adams, was treated for moderate injuries and arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving.
Kraft was cast as Amanda Whurlitzer in the “Bad News Bears” remake after throwing a 75 mph fastball at a casting call, the Los Angeles Daily News reported in 2005.
“I could never fill Tatum O’Neal’s shoes, but I tried to make the role my own, I added a bit of the New York in me. A little toughness, a little bit of smart-ass,” Kraft told the New York Daily News in 2005.
It wasn’t a strange role for Kraft — as an eight year-old, she was the only girl on the Toluca Lake Titans baseball team, once throwing nine strikes in the final inning to win the game.
Kraft was currently enrolled at Santa Monica College and was also part of a band called Scary Girls. She is survived by her parents, Shelly and Lulu Kane Kraft of Marina del Rey; brothers Frankie and Bobby; and a grandfather, Syd Kane.